Cancer Treatment

Overview of Cancer Treatments

Choice of cancer treatment is influenced by several factors, including the specific characteristics of your cancer; your overall condition; and whether the goal of treatment is to cure your cancer, keep your cancer from spreading, or to relieve the symptoms caused by cancer.  Depending on these factors, you may receive one or more of the following:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Hormonal Therapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Immunotherapy

One or more treatment modalities may be used to provide you with the most effective treatment.  Increasingly, it is common to use several treatment modalities together (concurrently) or in sequence with the goal of preventing recurrence.  This is referred to as multi-modality treatment of the cancer.

SURGERY

Surgery is used to diagnose cancer, determine its stage, and to treat cancer. One common type of surgery that may be used to help with diagnosing cancer is a biopsy. A biopsy involves taking a tissue sample from the suspected cancer for examination by a specialist in a laboratory. A biopsy is often performed in the physician’s office or in an outpatient surgery center. A positive biopsy indicates the presence of cancer; a negative biopsy may indicate that no cancer is…

CHEMOTHERAPY

CHEMOTHERAPY

Chemotherapy is any treatment involving the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Cancer chemotherapy may consist of single drugs or combinations of drugs, and can be administered through a vein, injected into a body cavity, or delivered orally in the form of a pill. Chemotherapy is different from surgery or radiation therapy in that the cancer-fighting drugs circulate in the blood to parts of the body where the cancer may have spread and can kill or eliminate cancers cells at sites great…

RADIATION THERAPY

RADIATION THERAPY

Radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, uses high-energy rays to damage or kill cancer cells by preventing them from growing and dividing. Similar to surgery, radiation therapy is a local treatment used to eliminate or eradicate visible tumors. Radiation therapy is not typically useful in eradicating cancer cells that have already spread to other parts of the body. Radiation therapy may be externally or internally delivered. External radiation delivers high-energy rays directly to the tumor..

HORMONAL THERAPY

HORMONAL THERAPY

Hormones are naturally occurring substances in the body that stimulate the growth of hormone sensitive tissues, such as the breast or prostate gland. When cancer arises in breast or prostate tissue, its growth and spread may be caused by the body’s own hormones. Therefore, drugs that block hormone production or change the way hormones work, and/or removal of organs that secrete…

TARGETED THERAPY

TARGETED THERAPY

A targeted therapy is one that is designed to treat only the cancer cells and minimize damage to normal, healthy cells. Cancer treatments that “target” cancer cells may offer the advantage of reduced treatment-related side effects and improved outcomes.

Conventional cancer treatments, such as…

BIOLOGICAL THERAPY

IMMUNOTHERAPY

Biological therapy is referred to by many terms, including immunologic therapy, immunotherapy, or biotherapy. Biological therapy is a type of treatment that uses the body’s immune system to facilitate the killing of cancer cells. Types of biological therapy include interferon, interleukin, monoclonal antibodies, colony stimulating factors (cytokines), and vaccines…

PERSONALIZED CANCER CARE

PERSONALIZED CANCER CA...

There is no longer a “one-size-fits-all” approach to cancer treatment. Even among patients with the same type of cancer, the behavior of the cancer and its response to treatment can vary widely. By exploring the reasons for this variation, researchers have begun to pave the way for more personalized cancer treatment. It is becoming increasingly clear that specific characteristics of cancer cells and cancer patients can have a profound impact on prognosis and treatment outcome…

STEM CELL TRANSPLANTATION

STEM CELL TRANSPLANTA...

High-dose chemotherapy (HDC) and bone marrow or blood stem cell transplantation (SCT) is the best treatment available for many kinds of cancer. The SCT procedure was developed over 35 years ago and was considered such a major development of biomedical science that the individuals responsible were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1989. Continued refinement has made SCT safer, and widely available. In order to determine the role of HDC and SCT for the…

COMPLEMENTARY AND INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE

COMPLEMENTARY AND INT...

Complementary medicine refers to a broad range of health practices that may be used in addition to conventional medical care.These treatments do not replace conventional cancer care and are not intended to treat cancer, but research suggests that certain types of complementary therapies may help manage symptoms and side effects and improve a person’s overall sense of well-being. Complementary medicine is often referred to in combination with alternative…

SIDE EFFECTS OF CANCER TREATMENT

SIDE EFFECTS OF CANCER...

The treatment of a cancer may include the use of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, surgery, or some combination of all of these or other therapeutic options. All of these treatment options are directed at killing or eradicating cancer cells. Unfortunately, cancer treatments may also damage normal, healthy cells that are not affected by the cancer. The result of this damage is a complication, or side effect, of treatment…

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